Tuesday, 24 March 2009

There will be blood...

In the dim and distant past feuds amongst the species that made up the Old Kingdom were commonplace. Like many disputes they tended be focused on boundaries of territories, since they seldom lived cheek by jowl. These were different times though, the human population had grown exponentially in the last few thousand years, and with territory diminished the Old Kingdomers had to learn to share, or move to remote parts to try and remain apart.

The Vampire colonies based in Romania had chosen to move into cave systems carved out of the Carpathian Mountains which ran like a spine down the length of the country and up as far as Slovakia to the west.

Despite this move, and the attempt to isolate themselves from humans, they had found themselves increasingly attacked by some determined men from the surrounding area who thought their presence an abomination.

Over the years this had become fiercer and well organised. The ragbag of angry locals had been replaced by well armed and well informed soldiers whose sole intention was not to run them out of the mountains, but instead to annihilate them.

It seemed laughable to suggest that the remnants of the resistance movement, who had managed to escape, would start fighting on a second front with a Werewolf clan by taking one of its number hostage.

“This is surreal,” Vlad said.
“Maybe so mate, but that was the very thought on his mind.”
“We are all but defeated in the homeland, where would be keeping this female? We barely have homes ourselves. It is only the fact that I have managed to retain the old family home that I have a place to stay.”
“We do not know who is in London at the moment – we all moved so quickly to leave Romania while we could, there has been no means of communicating with each other.” The Count said thoughfully, and then he continued, “There are still Vampires left in the Cave systems, those who chose to live in the darkness permanently. We lost all contact with them over a hundred years ago…who knows what they are capable of.” He ended darkly.
“We can’t be sure that any of them are even left; as you say they have not been seen or head from for a century. It seems unlikely to me that they would have had an opportunity to go out and kidnap a member of the Clan.”

They were known as the ‘dark ones’ or the ‘├«ntuneric’.

Many of them had been from high ranking families from Romania, and when the anti-Vampire policies had began to take hold all over Eastern Europe they had made their way into the caves, got as deep as they could and disappeared. Stories surfaced occasionally about livestock going missing, children living in nearby villages mysteriously vanishing, and it was often thought that it was the întuneric on the prowl.

“We need to find out for sure whether this is true, if it is, then your plan of uniting the Old Kingdom will be doomed before we begin. The Werewolf clans will declare war; the Witches will almost certainly side with them…” Vlad stopped mid-flow. “...and there is only one man who stands to benefit.”

He grew suddenly angry. His canine teeth seemed to lengthen, and his already pale face grew whiter, making his lips look almost crimson. When he turned to face The Count his eyes were on fire.
“Find Lord Kingsteignton, and bring him here….” He growled, several tones lower than his usual voice.

Cringing slightly in one corner was Costello, watching with barely concealed horror, his old friend grow ever more furious. The name Kingsteignton rang a bell with him.

“Er…this Lord Kingsteignton, the Lord Kingsteignton; big cheese in the European Union?” He asked wide-eyed.
“The very same” The Count answered.
“Only the top dog was due to meet with him…in fact should be with him now.”
“Where were they meeting?” Vlad asked quickly, eyes flashing again with fury.
“I don’t know – I got an image of a gentleman’s club….” He blustered.
“All I needed to know. Count, do you fancy coming with me?” He smiled at his companion, baring his fangs that were now very prominent.
The Count smiled, revealing his own pearly white canine teeth, and nodded assent.
“You had better stay here Costello – I intend this to get very ugly.”

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